Cold water is the best fluid to satisfy a thirst and the most effective to replace fluid lost through exercise and perspiration. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator during summer months for thirsty children.
When you make juice for hot weather thirst, try adding six cans of water to the frozen juice concentrate instead of three. If you use canned juice, pour the canned juice into a very large pitcher and add an equal amount of water. You can also fill their glass half with the canned juice and the rest with tap water. Remember though, you have diluted the nutritional content of the juice by adding twice the water. Fruit juice is a good source of vitamin C and if you double dilute orange juice, you will have to drink twice as much (1 cup) to get your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C. You will find that double diluted juice satisfies your children’s thirst and goes farther for less during summer months.
Another suggestion for summer thirst is freezing juice in your ice cube trays. A fruit cube is cooling and similar to a frozen Popsicle.
You are correct in stating that pop has a lot of sugar, but so does KoolAid. Most carbonated sugar-containing beverages contain 9 teaspoons of sugar per 12-ounce can. Depending on how much sugar you add (3/4 to one cup of sugar), to a package of KoolAid, 12 ounces of KoolAid can contain between 6.7 and 9 teaspoons of sugar respectively. KoolAid does have added vitamin C, which may be seem like a redeeming factor for some parents though I disagree.
You should be aware of how much fluid your children drink especially in summer. Your four-year-old can probably tell you when he’s thirsty, but your 21-month-old child may not. Whenever your four-year-old wants a drink, offer some liquids to your 21-month-old also. Another guidelines for those parents with only one child is, whenever you get a drink for yourself, offer some to your child. This includes offering a bottle of water to an infant.
By the time you are thirsty though, you are already somewhat dehydrated. So drink water every waking hour to anticipate thirst especially in hot weather and remember to offer your children water every time you do.
At birth, 75% of the body weight of a child is water. This decreases to approximately 60% by age 10. To put this on a practical level, infants ages birth to two years (6 to 26 pounds), should have three to six cups of water per day including water in breast milk, formula and food including drinking water. Children age’s two to 12 years (26 to 100 pounds), should have five to eight cups of water per day including water in beverages and food as well as drinking water.
Since the amount of fluid required per day is determined by your body temperature, the ability of your kidneys to remove wastes and sweating, a second guideline would be helpful. When your child goes to the bathroom, his/her urine should be light yellow or colorless and odorless, unless it is the first urine after getting up in morning. Also check infants soiled diapers for urine color and odor.